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‘American Hustle’ movie review: Brilliant performances overshadow film

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American Hustle

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Christian Bale suits up with some extra pounds, a comb-over hair style, and plays Irvin Rosenfeld in “American Hustle.” Even though Rosenfeld has a stable business, it’s not enough for him; his philosophy is to do what you gotta do to survive. So he becomes a con artist, tricking his victims into giving him $5,000 in exchange for a hefty loan. This scam doesn’t hit maximum success though, until he partners with the lovely Amy Adams, who plays Sydney Prosser. Together, the duo manages a small office, thinking they are unstoppable.

Unfortunately for them, their happy streak comes to an abrupt halt when they are caught red-handed by FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper). If the cunning pair wishes to skip jail time, they must work with Richie in bringing down corrupt politicians. They reluctantly accept, but what starts off as a seemingly easy mission, goes into a haywire operation involving dangerous individuals and Rosenfeld’s crazy-silly wife, Rosalyn (Jennifer Lawrence).

The cast is phenomenal. Critics are buzzing about how Bradley Cooper’s performance is the best he has ever done. Throughout the film he convinces you to be on his character’s side and hate him the next second. Bale doesn’t stay far behind, known for the full commitment he always brings into his roles. Amy Adams delivers a strong act, managing to fool even the audience by the end of the film. Last, but far from least, is Jennifer Lawrence. Don’t undermine the role you think Lawrence plays. While her character is regrettably not given enough scenes, her performance will have you laughing out loud and loving her role – although that might be a love/hate relationship. Besides Lawrence’s flawless act, “American Hustle” provides humor all over at all the right times.

There are very few films out there whose plot and story are overshadowed by the incredible performances, but that’s what “American Hustle” is. The audience find themselves more wrapped up in the characters than what the film is about. Don’t get me wrong, the film itself is still a great movie, but nothing out of this world or that we haven’t seen before. You might get tangled in the con vs. con scenario at one point, as it gets a bit complicated. But it all adds up to a twist finale that will loosen up the knots.

“American Hustle” is now in theaters. It is rated R for pervasive language, some sexual content, and brief violence. Running time is 2 hours and 17 minutes.

Right before “American Hustle” commences, audiences are told that most of the following events actually happened. This is because the film is loosely based on a true story; you can read all about it on The Daily Beast. Of course, the true tale isn’t as ludicrous and eventful as “American Hustle.”

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